t h i n g s. s e e n | n o i s e s. h e a r d | w o r d s. c o n j u r e d drew kennedy
- As an entertainment provider, I wholeheartedly refuse to participate in this surrender.
Stephen Vincent Benét
Once, when asked to build a fire in a backyard pit after a thanksgiving meal with friends, I caught a glimpse of the care with which we’ve treated our forests (previously felled or otherwise).
It’s a strange analogy.
It might not even be an analogy, but my mind went directly to thoughts of the forest, for some reason.
I take pride in fire-building. That’s the old boy scout in me shining through. I was asked to build a fire, and I set about creating what we always called a “one-match” fire back in my scouting days. Teepee style, using a supply of wood that was stacked against the rear of the home, fortified by the kindling I could find around the yard.
After a few minutes, my construction was complete.
I reached into my pocket to retrieve a matchbook when my friend’s father walked out into the back yard.
“What the hell is this?” he asked.
“I’m building a fire,” I explained.
“This looks like an art project— this ain’t no fire.”
He leveled my construction with one swipe of his hand, walked to the shed, retrieved a can of gasoline, poured a generous helping onto the pile of sticks and logs, and tossed a match in it’s direction.
Although I understand how ignition works, I’m still not sure my eyes could tell what made first contact— the lit match creating the fireball, or the fireball swallowing the match.
“That’s how you build a fire,” he said.
But perhaps it wasn’t a question of gasoline or match. Perhaps the only spark that was needed to set the now shameful pile of wood ablaze has been alive and watching us since well before Benét wrote the couplet above.
from this article
This is so simply written.
It’s a perfect example of what makes Peter Cooper such a great writer— he’s able to convey an idea that would have taken me at least a paragraph to get out of my system. And, perhaps it’s a fitting reminder that all of us should check our vitriol towards music that doesn’t draw us in every once in a while.
Because it’s cool, you know, that your favorite song when you are 12 will definitely not be (at least, it shouldn’t be) your favorite song when you are 22. Or 52.
If I had to lock down my favorite things at 12, I’d be running around singing early Beach Boys songs (Pet Sounds was my least favorite album of theirs, if that’s any indication of me at 12), sporting a couple of Mighty Mouse and Calvin and Hobbes tattoos, and content in the notion that I’d be knocking down velveeta grilled cheeses every day for lunch for the foreseeable future.
Of course, the reason why I continue to produce music has a lot to do with my belief that sooner or later people are going to want to try something other than a grilled cheese for lunch.
Grilled cheese is pretty good, though.
It’s truly a shame to me that a vast majority of the future leaders of my generation— the ones that we would willingly turn our eyes to in the hopes that a brighter future exists just over the horizon, one that could arrive sooner rather than later through their participation in public service— want nothing to do with what our political system has become.
And honestly, who can blame them?